Hertswood Academy

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Hertswood Academy
Hertswood Shield with horizontal text.png
Motto Aim High • Achieve Excellence
Established 2000
Type Academy
Headteacher Peter Gillett
Location Cowley Hill
51°39′59″N 0°15′59″W / 51.66651°N 0.26630°W / 51.66651; -0.26630Coordinates: 51°39′59″N 0°15′59″W / 51.66651°N 0.26630°W / 51.66651; -0.26630
DfE URN 138747 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 180
Students 1300
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses Cavendish     
Colours Burgundy     
Website Hertswood Academy

Hertswood Academy (formerly Hertswood School) is a coeducational secondary school in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire which gained academy status in January 2013.[1] The headteacher is Peter Gillett, who joined Hertswood Academy in January 2013. The academy is sponsored by businessman David Meller[2] as part of the Meller Educational Trust.

It was established in September 2000 by an amalgamation of five former local schools,[3] which is reflected in the two different sites of the academy today. The academy is due to begin a project to move to a single site and begin building a new "state of the art" school in 2015.[4]

An Ofsted inspection, which took place in 2014, found the school to be Grade 2 (Good) in "achievement", "quality of teaching", "behaviour and safety of pupils", "leadership and management" and in "overall effectiveness".[5]


The two sites of the academy were previously two of five schools which were closed to be combined into the then named Hertswood School.[6]


Hertswood School was established to replace Borehamwood's old three-tier system of lower, middle and upper schools with a two-tier system. As such, Lyndhurst, Furzehill and Holmshill middle schools were closed, along with Hawksmoor and Hillside upper schools. The new, larger school was established on the sites of Nicholas Hawksmoor School (previously Borehamwood Grammar School) and Holmshill Secondary Modern, the two schools having been approximately 400 metres apart. The reorganisation was paid for through the sale of the three other sites for housing development.[7]

The school opened in September 2000 under Headteacher Ian Lucas.[8]

Arts college and theatre[edit]

Hertswood School gained specialist arts college status in 2005[9] and in 2009 The Ark Theatre Borehamwood was established on its upper site. The majority of the two million pound facility was funded by Hertsmere Borough Council, which remains a funding partner to the theatre, as does the academy itself.[10] In addition to the theatre, facilities include a bar and meeting room.[11]

Academy status[edit]

In September 2012, under the sponsorship of David Meller and the Meller Educational Trust, Hertswood became an academy under the Academies Act (2010).[12] Having begun with Harefield Academy in 2005,[13] David Meller now sponsors 5 academies and 2 university technical colleges.[14]

Academy structure[edit]

Students and staff[edit]

The academy has approximately 1,300 students,[15] including boys and girls from the age of 11 to 18. This includes approximately 300 students in the academy's sixth form and its IMPACT programme (in collaboration with Watford Football Club).[16] There are approximately 120 teaching staff, with approximately 60 support staff.

House system[edit]

In 2013 the academy introduced a new house system with four houses, each named after a scientist or educationalist: Cavendish (blue), Darwin (green), Nuffield (yellow) and Somerville (red).[17] The assigned colour of the house that a student belongs to is displayed on a badge on the student's blazer.

Each house has a staff member assigned as its head, a House Captain from the Upper Sixth Form, and a Vice House Captain selected from the Lower Sixth Form. The academy arranges inter-house competitions through the school year and tracks the total Vivo Reward Points each house has earned.[18]


Uniform for students at Hertswood Academy consists of a burgundy blazer with the academy logo and plain black trousers or skirt. A V-neck jumper with the academy logo is optional.[19]

Single site development[edit]

In November 2013, the academy announced plans to move the entire school to new buildings on the Cowley Hill site, funded by the sale of the Thrift Farm Lane site which would be demolished for housing.[20] In March 2014 plans were pushed back to extend the consultation period.[21]

A planning application was submitted in December 2014 for the new academy, temporary classrooms and the residential development on the Thrift Farm Lane site. This is part of the current schedule to move all students to the Cowley Hill site in December 2015 and open the new academy in January 2018.[22]

The academy have stated that the new build will include "a first class community theatre and community sports facilities"[23] as well as "cutting-edge ICT in every classroom, expansive open learning spaces and a superb new restaurant."[24]


External links[edit]